For all my artist friends who beat themselves up by jonas

Quoted from the article:

F. Murray Abraham got his first decent screen role as an actor when he was 45. The role was in the movie Amadeus and he won an Academy Award for his brilliant portrayal of Antonio Salieri. He had thought of giving up acting just two years before but thankfully didn’t.

Andrea Bocelli didn’t start singing opera seriously until the age of 34. Some ‘experts’ told him it was too late to begin.

Phyliss Diller became a comedian at the age of 37. She was told by many club owners that she was “too old” to become a success.

Stan Lee, creator of Spider-Man, was 43 when he began drawing his legendary superheroes and his partner Jack Kirby was 44 when he created The Fantastic Four.

Julia Child didn’t even learn to cook until she was almost 40 and didn’t launch her popular show until she was 50.

Elizabeth Jolley had her first novel published at the age of 56. In one year alone she received 39 rejection letters but finally had 15 novels and four short story collections published to great success. Mary Wesley was 71 when her first novel was published. Talk about not giving up!

Ricardo Montalban had his dream house built at the age of 68. That was when he was finally financially able to do so and he went full-speed ahead with it.

Harlan Sanders, the Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame, was 66 when he began to promote his style of cooking and create an empire.

Laura Ingalls Wilder began writing as a columnist in her 40s. Contrary to a belief begun by the TV series about her family, the popular Little House books weren’t written when she was a young girl at all. They were written and published when the ‘girl’ was in her 60’s!

I think most artists dread (and some of us also visualize with self-loathing detail) a future in which we’ve not only wasted our time on a Useless Career Choice, but also show no substantial signs of improvement. We silently beat ourselves up in ways that even the worst critic wouldn’t.

However, if all the talented people listed above (and countless others) had listened to societal standards regarding success, and what it’s supposed to look like, and the supposed age at which it’s “now or never,” we wouldn’t even know their names.

Chart your own course. Practice every day. Teach yourself to separate the sincere drive to improve from the self-destructive impulse to overanalyze.

As long as you’re still drawing breath, you’re still in the game. And if you’re still in the game, you can still win.

For all my artist friends who beat themselves up


7 February 2014 at 15:20:46 MST

Journal Information


Tags Modify

Edit Tags


  • Link

    Well said.

  • Link

    I've always sort of felt this way, but it's nice to have a journal and list of people who made it to sum it all up.

    Been working on a lot of writing and hopefully making a (bit of a late) step in to books, or even game design when I've got something that can be iterated on.

  • Link

    This constitutes the first journal fave I've ever made…ever. xD I love that Weasyl lets you do this.

    I'm actually glad you posted this, because literally just last night I was beating myself up for similar (albeit not quite the same) reasons, though not aloud or anything. :<

  • Link

    "*... I'm too old to be young talent!!! *"
    A line from John Guare's play *House of Blue Leaves. * that stuck with me. Some people equate fame and fortune with success. As far as I'm concerned if I can make a living doing what I want to do, then that's success.

  • Link

    This is actually really uplifting for me. I often see artists on FA and DA that are 19 and just so amazing, and when I see them, I always feel like I've already lost. If I'm already 25 and I'm not that good, what am I even trying for? It gets me feeling down pretty bad. But it's also true that I've been alive 25 years, and that's not even half my potential life span. I have no idea what I can accomplish as an adult with agile fingers in the time of another of my life.

    Thanks for posting this, that made me feel good.

  • Link

    Your journals are the best. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Link

    Reminds me of this old motivational record I have where the speaker talks about people who say "Oh, I'm too old to go to college! I'd be forty-five by the time I graduate!" "How old would you be if you be if you DIDN'T go?" "Forty-five. Hey, how come the same?"

  • Link

    I need to read this every damn day.

  • Link

    As someone who's 37 and finally making a serious push to learn how to draw, this was very nice to read. Thank you, jonas. :)

  • Link

    Great post! There's an artist who runs a really neat podcast that deals with being an artist, and one of his episodes was about starting altogether. One of the things he stressed was that YOU ARE NEVER TOO OLD TO START. It's something that's kept me going, and this post has only reinforced my attitude.

    • Link

      Can I know where I can find these videos? I always struggle with the "I am too old" to start this or that, especially being a women where I also want to be a mom. Because of "wrong" choices (don't rlly want to call them wrong, cause in the end they all give me experience and brought me where I am now) I made in past and have to start over again and again and again O_O and it always makes me go crazy. Things like I wish I did this or if I did that I would be here kind of things. Reading or listening about these kind of subjects and "self compassion" etc etc always helps me to not give up!

      • Link

        The podcast is called "Man vs Art". There's a lot of great helpful episodes and equally great interviews with professionals. I recommend starting with episode 14.

  • Link

    Wooow big inspiration! I am always very hard to myself, but this def helps me to not give up the things love! Thankyou!